Dr. Mai Butler received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she studied with Dr. Paul Barnes. She began learning piano at age six, in her birthplace of Miyazaki, Japan. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music from Northwest Missouri State University under the tutelage of Dr. Earnest Kramer. While in Missouri, she won the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra’s Annual Piano Concerto Audition, garnering the honor of performing with the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra as a piano soloist. Mai went on to work with Dr. Christopher Fisher at Ohio University, where she received her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance. During her time at Ohio University, she won the Ohio University Concerto Competition and served as the featured piano soloist with the Ohio University Orchestra. Mai achieved second place in the Ohio Graves Young Artist Piano Competition.
Mai Butler enjoys teaching students at any and all levels of pianistic accomplishment. She is passionate about cultivating students’ success and love of music, and is adept at helping students find a suitable pace for instruction in order to achieve their musical goals. From 2008 to 2011, Mai served as a Piano Instructor for Keyboard Skills Classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under the supervision of Dr. Brenda Wristen, thereby gaining experience in the field of group instruction.
Mai believes that the study of piano is a lifelong endeavor. She gives frequent solo recitals and piano duo recitals with the collaboration of Dr. Feifei Jiang, a magnificent pianist from China. She has received numerous prizes at piano competitions in both the United States and Japan.
Mai Butler has been my piano for over two years. I was sixteen when I started and I had never played a musical instrument. She welcomed me into her studio with warmth and the willing to share her passion. I was nervous and afraid of making mistakes, but she made me feel like everything was okay and how to learn from mistakes. Mai encourages me to participate in recitals and informs me of other events to help grow as a pianist. The time I have spent learning from Mai has been amazing! I can’t wait to continue to grow as a pianist with Mai as my teacher, mentor and friend. – Kole Fillmore
Mai has been wonderful. We have seen such an improvement in Hannah’s playing and she is truly enjoying piano. She is always pleasant and encourages us to be in the lessons and more aware of what she is learning. We cannot say enough nice things about her! -Hannah Melton
Mai is very personable and always encourages Miranda to realize her full potential. Mai is very interested in her students’ progress and growth. -Lisa Heidbrink
Bobby has only had Mai as an instructor for a month or so, but she was re-ignited his passion for piano! He is thrilled with her knowledge and skill. This is perfect timing for us — because he is a freshman in high school now and is often being pulled away from lessons for school events, but he is still practicing piano and is still engaged despite missing quite often. And, this interest is obviously linked to her instruction. -Peggy Hart
Miss Mai is a great instructor for Noah. She is very good at getting the details of each song correct. She is very technical. She has given Noah a lot of depth to her piano playing. -Taylor Kohl
Annika loves having Mai as her teacher. Mai has really sparked a new energy in Annika and her love for learning the piano. She is very patient and nurturing in class and praises Annika a lot, which makes Annika want to practice even harder. -Amanda Limbach
We are so pleased with Mai and the progress that Thomas is making at Harris. He is genuinely excited about piano. Mai does a great job of building his confidence and keeping him motivated. – Katie P. (Parent)
She is a kind and caring instructor. I am please to have her. – Isabel
Mai gives me inspiration to keep playing piano! – Nate
I am very thankful to have a teacher like Mai. – Paula
Mai has been my instructor for two years and I’ve seen so much improvement in my piano abilities. I used to cringe at my unrecognizable rendition of Clementi’s sonatina and now it’s a piece of cake. She is always ready to give feedback and knows how to correct (in that ever so sweet way of hers) without a student even realizing. She is passionate about music and that passion shines through her teaching, performances, and everyday life. Mai, thank you for being my teacher! – Abigail H
Mai is amazing! My daughters adore her, and we love that she challenges them to work hard each week. They’ve progressed quickly, and they’re always eager to take on a new piece. She is positive and upbeat, and the girls always look forward to their lessons! – Parent of current students (2017)
Mai always has a smile and a good positive attitude with Nate. He has really grown as a pianist and continues to love to go to lessons. Mai gives him work that is manageable and entertaining. He loves his lessons and he always talks about Mai to others and how great she is. – Jenn (Parent)
David absolutely loves taking piano lessons with Mai! We love that she is willing to let him compose his own pieces when he feels like it, etc, as that has kept him interested in piano lessons. He always leaves his lessons in a better mood than when he went into her room. – Megan (Parent)
Mai is WOW! She is so talented and encouraging. She is amazing, I love her. – Caitlin
Mrs. Mai, you’re a great teacher and you’re really nice! Thank you for encouraging me for recitals and festivals. You are an awesome teacher and when i grow up I want to be a pianist, thanks to you! – Kalena T.
Dear Ms. Mai, Thank you for being the best piano teacher ever! Whenever I walk into class, you always have a positive smile on your face! – Addison P.
You’re the BEST teacher ever! You are very positive and kind! You are very understanding, too! I’m so happy that you’re my teacher! 🙂 – Paula